It makes no diff'rence if it's sweet or hot, Just give that rhythm ev'rything you got It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing...
...timeless words, as relevant today as they were 75 years ago when Irving Mills set them to Duke Ellington’s classic jazz standard. Okay it’s no easy step from Ellington to Plus 8 but isn’t that the essence and beauty of dance music - with it’s freeform evolution? The best tunes somehow reach in and caress your soul, transcending language and replenishing the lifeblood that pulses through your veins.
Which brings us to Marco Carola’s new collection of tracks. The concept is straight forward enough - classic elements combining effortlessly to create pure, undiluted techno funk – but it’s the way he makes these complex amalgamations sound so simple that really stands out. A true master of the monotonous groove, Carola never forces the issue, he just let’s
it flow knowing exactly what it takes to get the party rocking.
The 6 tracks actually constitute two releases - Plus One & Plus Two – and will be spread over a 5-week period,
swinging into action with Lost Connection (Plus One digital). Punctuated by cut-up vocal snippets and raw, metallic stabs, the sparse bass-heavy groove is juxtaposed with a highly addictive main theme that works to great effect, turning the screw a little more each time it returns. The Plus One vinyl follows two weeks later with the aptly named Jackpot - a
stripped down, two step influenced workout that recalls the strutting bass groove and good time party vibe of Van Helden’s classic Funk Phenomenon. On the flipside Swingback leads off in a more minimal direction with the metronomic beats supplemented by bleeping tonal percussion parts and a retro style teutonic snare that gets given the run around by a formidable array of effects.
Mini Monkey (Plus Two digital) comes out at the same time and definitely represents the darkest piece of the jigsaw with it’s nervous acid flavours imprisoned by a barrage of distorted beats and chunky claps. Then after another tantalising two week wait Contortionist and Sensation (Plus Two vinyl) finish off the series in spectacular fashion. The former utilises a low-slung groove with a slightly deeper vibe, allowing the percussive melody to glide ffortlessly over a sea of shimmering hihats before spacing out as distant electric piano chords briefly wash across the surface.
Sensat ion on the other hand, really pulls out the stops, summing up exactly why Carola is such hot property. The loose hihat/snare combination adds some swagger to the proceedings as the cool rhythmic interplay; classic house stabs and
storming bass riff drag you onto the dancefloor by the scruff of the neck. Marco seriously let’s the good times roll... it’s just one killer tune after the next, all with a touch of that indefinable magic at their heart.